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Title: Shounen Oujo
Associated title(s): 少年王女; Boy Princess (YUKIHIRO Utako); Mimic Royal Princess; Shonen Ohjo; Shonen Oujo
Genre: Shoujo, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Gender-Bender, Historical, Mystery.
Author(s):Musashino Zenko & Yukihiro Utako
Publisher:ASCII Media Works; serialized in: Sylph (ASCII Media Works).
Additional Notes: Additional works credited to Yukihiro Utako: Arcana 12: Demons, Issho ni Gohan. - Mou Ippai!, Issho ni Gohan. - Takitate!, Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist, Shounen Oujo, Uta no Prince-sama
Chapters read at the time of review: 9
In Morrigan, a land with a matrilineal ruler, where men are second class citizens, an historic event is about to unfold which will determine the fate of the nation. The Queen has fallen ill and now the country's fate is in jeopardy. Princess Alexia, the direct heir, has no determination to take up the throne, but the hope of Morrigan is riding on her. However, by acquiring a slave by the name of Albert, Princess Alexia discovered her resolve and confidence to rule as future queen and protect what is most precious. Through this rare opportunity, Albert gets to know Princess Alexia personally and begins to place his hope in her.
Yukihiro-san's artwork is very admirable. Not only is the art well-drawn, but it is also well detailed. What I admire about the art is amount of detail to the objects. With that said, Yukihiro-san also knows how not to clutter a scene with extra details that might throw the reader off.
Albert: An orphan who opened up the story. He is cheeky and rambunctious. He was sent on an errand to the mayor until Theodore and him were sidetracked.
Theodore: Albert's best friend and fellow orphan. A stroll in town led to Albert and Theodore being seized by slave-traders. Apparently since males are second class citizens, walking alone in town without a women is dangerous.
Martha: Care-taker of orphans and also that of Albert and Theodore.
Princess Alexia: She's the princess that acquired both Albert and Theodore for an extravagant sum of money. The reason why she paid so much was also to denote the fact that the transaction be secretive or else the slave-traders risk their lives.
Guy: The personal man servant of Princess Alexia. He has a pedophilic interest in young girls. I'm wondering whether or not this is due to the fact that he is the personal attendant of the Princess?
Reading through on the first go, my impression by chapter nine is that this story is reminiscent of the story of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. In my youth, I showed little care for literature and therefore cannot even elaborate on any deeper similarities between the two works. With that said, I'm aware of the general premise of Twain's work which is that a prince and a pauper exchanges roles. The story progresses into adult life. In Shoujo Oujo, the exchange of roles and position is present but not the strong point of the story. It only has a supportive role.
I do appreciate how the story explored a society where the women are first class and men are second. It's stated in the manga that in Morrigan, by law, women are the only ones to make an income. In our reality, it wasn't too long ago where the proper place for a woman was in the
kitchenhouse. She was to be a housewife who depended on the income of her husband. Returning to the fictional queendom of Morrigan, males are regulated to house-bands. Okay, a play on sound by me, but I strongly think that a house-husband is not equivalent with a stay-at-home-dad. The reason is that the societal differences is makes a house-husband distinct. Men are second class citizens by law and are restricted just how women were restricted in society half a century or more ago.
What I also found interesting was a depiction of a tavern with all women. They were drinking, most likely, after a hard day at work. There were sights of any men around. It suggested that men are not allowed to go out at night to the pubs. Rather, the males might have been regulated to having small husband meetings. Who knows?
One thing I do want to clarify is that this circumstance is only regulated to the country of Morrigan. Neighboring countries are ruled by males. This is shown by the fact that other nations has kings.
Additionally, Shoujo Ouja seems to provoke a deeper sense of stimulation then what I first thought. It wasn't just entertaining. Princess Alexia was conflicted with her being the next in-line to rule. If she didn't meet Albert, Princess Alexia might had run away from her duties or even worse, neglected her duties. Through switching her place with Albert, she was able to see what kind of kingdom she would be assuming onto herself as queen. She gained an understanding that it wasn't the people that needed a queen but the precious little things that needed a queen to protect them. These little things are the little joys and liberties that most people take for granted such as the sun causing the waves to sparkle gold, being in the company of the simple and being received warmly by strangers.
I would recommend this manga for those that like a shoujo manga with more depth to it.
Last edited by segua; May 21, 2013 at 12:38 PM. Reason: updating